Launch Vehicles

The United Launch Alliance is a 50-50 joint venture owned by Lockheed Martin and The Boeing Company.  The ULA brings together two of the launch industry’s most experienced and successful teams – Atlas and Delta – to provide reliable, cost-efficient space launch services for the U.S. government.

Atlas V (ULA) – is a family of expendable modular launch vehicle whose variations have been around for over 50 years.  An overview of the vehicle is in the product card with very detailed information (meant for those who want to use the vehicle) in the Atlas V User’s Guide.

Delta II (ULA) is a newer vehicle (1989) with a great track record for medium-lift payload requirements.  AN overview is in the product card with details in the Delat II User’s Guide.

Delta IV (ULA) is another member of the expendable launch vehicle family that has been around for a lont time.  An overview of the vehicle is in the product card  with very detailed information in the Delta IV User’s Guide.

Space-X (Space Exploration Technologies) is a relatively new company (2002) founded by  Elon Musk , the founder of PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation.  They have new launch vehicles based on the philosophy that simplicity, low-cost, and reliability can go hand in hand.

Falcon I (Space-X) Falcon 1 is a two stage, liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) powered launch vehicle. It is designed in-house from the ground up by SpaceX for cost efficient and reliable transport of satellites to low Earth orbit.  Detailed information can be found in the Falcon I User’s Guide.

Falcon 9 (Space-X) is a larger version of the Falcon 1.  Detailed information can be found in the Falcon 9 User’s Guide

Falcon 9 Heavy Lift (Space-X) is meant for heavier payloads.

Ariane Space  – This European company’s shareholders represent scientific, technical, financial and political entities from 10 different European countries. They include companies from the Ariane industrial team and national space agencies

Ariane 5  The Ariane 5 carries payloads weighing nearly 10 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and over 20 metric tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO) – with a high degree of accuracy mission after mission.  Detailed information can be found in the Ariane 5 User’s Manual.

 Soyuz This is the vehicle that introduced the space age with the launch of Sputnik – the world’s first satellite – in 1957. Since then, Soyuz has been in continuous production with more than 1,700 manned and unmanned missions performed to date.  This vehicle will be launching from the Arianespace French Guiana site.  Detailed information can be found in the Soyuz User’s Manual.

Vega This European four-stage launcher is tailored to carry the growing number of small scientific spacecraft and other lighter-weight payloads under development or planned worldwide.  Detailed information can be found in the Vega User’s Manual.

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